Kennedy University Hospital in Cherry Hill held a topping off ceremony for its new lobby atrium as part of its first phase of revitalization, which accounts for $65 million in a $200 million project.Kennedy Health CEO and President Joseph Devine said that, in the ever-changing market place, Kennedy is committed to improvements and ongoing innovation.
“Staying ahead the pack is always important. We have had to survive for 50 years, and struggle, as we talked about in the early years,” Devine said. “Many people predicted that Kennedy wouldn’t survive 10 years.”
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross were in attendance, along with Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn.
“This investment is very good for the economy, and, honestly, health care is driving the economy right now, and we are going to keep pushing it,” Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said.
Norcross (D-Cherry Hill) added: “When we take a look at Camden County, and go back 50 years, the top employers were RCA, Campbell’s Soup and New York Shipyards, and today that has shifted to health care. It’s no doubt that people are living longer because you are doing a much better job.”
The project began in April 2015, and the second phase, which will convert hospital rooms into all-private patient rooms, is set to begin in late 2017.
Phase 1 includes 102,000 square feet of an outpatient pavilion, adding more ambulatory services such as a surgical center, medical imaging, rehabilitation services, laboratory services, a hyperbaric wound center and physician practices.
It will also include an enclosed, free 600-space parking facility.
The hospital has undergone other renovations since 2011, including a $9.7 million upgrade to emergency department services and a nearly $7 million upgrade to the emergency operating rooms, according to Kennedy board Chairman John Durante.
Cahn joked to the Kennedy board that renovating the emergency department was long overdue, because it looked “old,” according to Devine.
The whole project translates to a $170 million direct impact on the state’s economy, as well as $197.5 million of indirect impact, according to Durante.